Sip the Magic: Spain’s Top 12 Must-Try Vermouths
While Spain’s well-known wines often steal the spotlight, there’s an unsung hero in the country’s alcoholic portfolio: vermouth. Spanish vermouth is a beguiling tale all its own, stitched together with the artistry of local craftsmen and the distinct flavors of regional botanicals. This drink isn’t just another aperitif; it’s an integral thread in the fabric of Spain’s vibrant food and drink tapestry.
Crafted predominantly from grapes like Macabeo, and occasionally exotic varieties like Albariño or Carignan, Spanish vermouth undergoes an alchemy of flavors. A host of botanicals from herbs to roots is delicately infused into the base wine. Aging techniques and unique additives only add layers of complexity. The result? A range of vermouths that are as multi-faceted as they are delightful, each capturing a different aspect of Spain’s rich cultural landscape.
So as you peruse this curated list of the 12 top-rated Spanish vermouths, prepare for an expedition into the nuanced world of these aromatic elixirs. Whether it’s a bottle aged in oak barrels or one imbued with local herbs, each offering is a liquid testament to Spain’s underappreciated yet deeply cherished vermouth tradition.
1. Yzaguirre Rojo Reserva
Craftsmanship: Obtained from the infusion of 80 herbs, spices, and vegetables, processed using the traditional method and carefully chosen. Aged for 12 months in wooden barrels.
Tasting Notes: Deep mahogany hue, dancing notes of vanilla, cloves, and raisins.
Food Pairing: Ideal with jamón serrano and Manchego or a baguette full of melted Brie.
2. La Copa Vermouth by González Byass
Craftsmanship: Made with a blend of Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry wines.
Tasting Notes: A rich tapestry of herbal complexity and citrus notes.
Food Pairing: Complements grilled octopus with a dusting of paprika.
3. Lustau Vermut Rojo
Craftsmanship: Crafted from a blend of Amontillado and Pedro Ximénez sherries.
Tasting Notes: Dark, delicious figs and spicy cinnamon notes.
Food Pairing: Matches heavenly with tapas like chorizo or patatas bravas.
4. St. Petroni Vermú Vermello
Craftsmanship: Made exclusively from Albariño grapes, unique to Galicia.
Tasting Notes: Sensational red fruits and nuanced spiced wood notes.
Food Pairing: Exceptional with stuffed piquillo peppers.
5. Bodegas Valdepablo Vermouth Black
Craftsmanship: Crafted using a traditional family recipe dating back to 1928.
Tasting Notes: A captivating blend of caramel, herbal bitterness, and citrus.
Food Pairing: An absolute delight with anchovy-stuffed olives.
6. Martínez Lacuesta Reserva
Craftsmanship: Aged in American oak barrels for seven months.
Tasting Notes: Citrusy notes of orange and thyme, blended with various spices.
Food Pairing: Perfectly accompanies a platter of mixed tapas, especially albondigas.
7. Espinaler Vermut Vintage
Craftsmanship: Uses 100% Macabeo grapes, indigenous to Catalonia.
Tasting Notes: Rich and earthy, giving way to a long, bittersweet finish.
Food Pairing: Simply unmatched when paired with a seafood paella.
8. Mancino Vermouth Rosso
Craftsmanship: Infused with over 38 botanicals, including sage and marjoram.
Tasting Notes: Warm and bitter, luscious with an aromatic profile of wild herbs, cacao, juniper, cinnamon, and orange tart.
Food Pairing: Elevates the flavors of oysters or any shellfish.
9. Casa Mariol Vermut Negre
Craftsmanship: Made from Carignan grapes, a variety native to Spain.
Tasting Notes: Enticing green apple and mint, rounded out by caramel.
Food Pairing: A charcuterie board featuring Brillat Savarin and cured meats.
10. Siderit Lodeiros
Craftsmanship: Features the rare combination of Colombian coffee beans and Spanish grapes. With limited production, this Vermouth comes from a maceration of over 100 herbs in a hydroalcoholic solution for at least two months. Aged in ex-Sherry barrels.
Tasting Notes: Decadente, smooth, easy to drink. A complex blend of dark fruits, anise, and licorice.
Food Pairing: Outstanding with fried calamari or seafood couscous.
11. Miró Vermut Rojo
Craftsmanship: Crafted from a mixture of herbs and spices, based on a secret 100-year-old recipe.
Tasting Notes: Cherries and cinnamon, with a warm, luscious finish.
Food Pairing: Ideally paired with grilled lamb skewers.
12. Padró & Co. Reserva Especial
Craftsmanship: Stored in single chestnut barrels for a minimum of 12 months.
Tasting Notes: Luxuriously velvety, featuring dried fruit, oak, and vanilla.
Food Pairing: The finishing touch to a dish of paella Mixta (meat and seafood).
Each of these vermouths is a testament to Spanish artistry and regional richness. Whether it’s the indigenous grape varieties, secret age-old recipes, or unique aging processes, the intricate craftsmanship that goes into creating each bottle makes them exceptional in their own right. Salud!